The Red Wings have a number of questions at the forward position.
Over the next six days, they’ll look to answer them.
Detroit will look to trade one of its surplus forwards — rumored to be Jordin Tootoo — leading up to or at the NHL Entry Draft, according to MLive.com.
Failing that, the Wings will make a decision on Monday, the day after the draft, to possibly use a compliance buyout. The the leading candidates are believed to be Mikael Samuelsson (one year remaining, $3 million) or Carlo Colaiacovo (one year remaining, $2.5 million).
It’s thought Tootoo could also be bought out. He has two years remaining on his deal (at $1.9 million per) and fell out of Mike Babcock’s favor midway through the season — Tootoo was a frequent healthy scratch down the stretch, and only appeared in one playoff game.
The club will also explore the option of trading Valtteri Filppula’s negotiating rights should the two sides fail to reach an agreement on a new deal.
Filppula, 29, is in the final year of a five-year, $15 million deal and is rumored to be seeking a new long-term contract worth more than $5 million annually.
Detroit is reportedly not willing to commit that kind of term or money to the Finnish forward.
All told, the Wings currently have 14 forwards under contract and are talking about deals for Filppula, Dan Cleary and Damien Brunner.
As such, it’s also believed Cory Emmerton could be made available in a trade as well.
Are the Philadelphia Flyers aiming for some sort of record when it comes to expensive (potential) healthy scratches?
While lineups are obviously subject to change, CSNPhilly.com notes that Vincent Lecavalier appears to be among a rather rich group of Flyers who are expected to sit during their season-opener.
Also likely to be in street clothes: Sam Gagner and Luke Schenn.
That’s $11.3 million in cap space rotting on the bench, and that’s only counting what the Flyers are paying Gagner.
“I really don’t know what to say,” Lecavalier said. “I’ll practice hard and be ready when they call me up.”
The CSNPhilly.com quotes from Lecavalier, Gagner and Schenn only get sadder from there, which reminds you that these guys are more than just numbers – whether those numbers be disappointing stats or bloated salaries.
Flyers fans with the urge to reach for an Alka-Setzler can at least take some comfort in knowing that the team will see $6.8 million in savings after this season, as both Gagner and Schenn are on expiring deals.
It could be a long season, though, and this Lecavalier headache may only become more painful.
One of the NHL’s most notorious hitters has been tagged by the league.
On Monday, the Department of Player Safety announced that San Jose forward Raffi Torres has been suspended 41 games — half of the regular season — for an illegal check to the head of Anaheim’s Jakob Silfverberg.
The length of Torres’ suspension is a combination of the Silfverberg hit and Torres’ history of delivering hits to the heads of opposing players, including Jordan Eberle, Jarret Stoll, Nate Prosser and Marian Hossa.
“Torres has repeatedly violated league playing rules,” the Department of Player Safety explained. “And has been sanctioned multiple times for similar infractions.”
The league also noted that Torres has been warned, fined, or suspended on nine occasions over the course of his career, “the majority of which have involved a hit to an opponent’s head.”
“Same player every year,” Ducks forward Ryan Kesler said following the hit on Silfverberg. “I played with the guy [in Vancouver]. He needs to learn how to hit. That has no part in our game anymore.”
As for what lies ahead, things could get interesting upon potential appeal:
Torres successfully appealed a suspension under the previous CBA, getting his punishment for the Hossa hit reduced from 25 to 21 games.
Under terms of the new CBA, Torres isn’t categorized as a repeat offender because his last suspension came in May of 2013 — more than two years ago.
Of course, part of the reason Torres hasn’t run afoul of the league in two years is because he’s barely played.
Knee injuries limited Torres to just 12 games in ’13-14, and he sat out last season entirely.